August 30, 2011 - 2:09 pm
What is the 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge?
The challenge is aimed at young people aged 11 – 19 years old (key stages 3, 4 and 5), and involves 3 to 6 team members working together to design and build a radio controlled 4-wheel-drive (4×4) vehicle to set specifications, that can successfully negotiate a specially designed test track that emulates that of real life and what a full scale 4×4 vehicle can do. Teams entering the challenge will spend a number of weeks designing, researching, building and project managing their 4×4 vehicle to enter it into a regional heat to compete against other schools from their area. Regional winners will be selected via a judging process to go through to the National Final where they will compete again but this time against the other regional winners to challenge to become the 4×4 in school Technology Challenge UK National Champions.
Registration for the 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge 2011/12 season is now open and the 2011/12 Rules & Regulations and Challenge Handbook are now available to download from the 4×4 in Schools website. I am delighted to announce that following the success and high standard of entry from the 2010/11 season, the 2011/12 Regional Finals will be held in February (dates T.B.C) and the UK National Final will be held at the Big Bang Fair on Thursday 15th March 2012 at the Birmingham NEC.
For more visit: www.4x4inschools.co.uk/
- 12:17 pm
Supporting teaching and learning in colleges
Are you interested in becoming an ementor?
Ementoring is a flexible way to volunteer and an opportunity for you and your mentee to develop new skills. By sharing your experiences, you can support other people to grow in confidence and explore options for their future. All you need to be a mentor is a willingness to help other people and an online connection. Because ementoring is done online, you can do it at a time and place that suits you.
Who are we looking for?
Mentors can be from all levels, working in an engineering related profession or with an engineering background, and from a variety of ethnic/cultural backgrounds and social classes. Ideally you would have progressed up through the further education route or have knowledge of the further education sector. You will need to be enthusiastic, passionate about Engineering, want to help other people and have a willingness to share your experiences and insights to help encourage young people in further education to remain committed to a career in engineering. It will be helpful, but not essential, if you were an existing STEM Ambassador and have previous experience of working with young people.
What is involved?
Once you have registered and completed your training, the Bright Links engineering team will match you with up to four mentees who will be students in further education colleges who are studying engineering courses at Level 2, Level 3 and possibly Level 4. They will be looking for advice and support around study skills, apprenticeships, engineering careers, applying to university and much more. You will communicate with your mentees through the safe and secure Bright Links ementoring website, which will have its own engineering section dedicated to this Engineering Further Education ementoring project. To be effective you need to be willing to spend between 30 minutes and 1 hour a week supporting your mentees.
Become a mentor: If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a mentor, apply to the Bright Links engineering programme today at www.brightlinksengineering.org
EMentor Recruitment Flyer
EMentor Recruitment Flyer Addendum
August 23, 2011 - 3:55 pm
Title: Icebreakers and Games Science Communication Training
Date: Wednesday 21st September 2011
Time: 9.30pm – 4.30pm (Registration from 9.15am).
Venue: Room OC218, Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, Durham University Science Site, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE
Lunch and refreshments will be provided.
Icebreakers and Games:
Successful science communication activities and events depend on making their target audiences feel comfortable and at ease. Icebreakers and the use of games formats are popular and effective ways of encouraging participation and engaging different types of audiences. In this training session you will have the opportunity to try a variety of icebreaker techniques and games e.g. DEMOCS, quiz show and board games formats etc. Please feel free to bring along an activity you have used to share with the group, or an idea that we can help you develop further!
This workshop is specifically aimed at those with more than 20 hours of experience of science communication over the past 5 years, but is open to anyone with an interest in developing their science communication skills. Please feel free to pass this information on as you see fit. Places are limited to a maximum of 20 to ensure that all participants are actively involved throughout the workshop. If you would like to participate in this training please book a place by completing the form available at:
This training session will be lead by Ben Johnson & Louise Webb from Graphic Science Ltd.
Ben Johnson, Graphic Science
Ben has been involved with Science Communication and Education for over 15 years and is Managing Director of Graphic Science Ltd, one of the most innovative and influential consultancies in the field. Ben specialises in direct hands-on engagement, designed to promote dialogue about science and engineering. He has worked extensively in schools researching, devising and delivering drama based projects and curriculum enhancement resources on topics as diverse as Robotics, Bioethics, Climate Change and currently, Engineering. Ben also has a strong portfolio of evaluation and research, conducting scoping studies and external evaluations for clients including EPSRC, NCCPE, BIS, The British Council, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Cheltenham Festivals Ltd, COPUS, STEMNET, The Open University, the Association for Science Education, At-Bristol and the Bristol Natural History Consortium.
Louise Webb, Graphic Science
Louise is Training and Project Development Consultant at Graphic Science. Prior to this she was Head of Skills Development at the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres where she has specialised in the development of engagement in informal learning settings; from science centres to youth groups. After working as a postdoctoral research chemist for the EU, Louise has spent the last 12 years as a professional science communicator for organisations including Techniquest Science Centre and the British Science Association. She has developed and managed highly successful national projects including Go For It! with sciZmic Space and Science projects. She has also managed the learning and programmes package for the Wellcome Trust funded Inside DNA touring exhibition project, developed science shows, workshops and other public engagement activities for a variety of audiences.
This training is part of the Embedding the Benefits of Innovation in Disadvantaged Communities project, which is a joint initiative between The University of Durham and the County Durham Development Company. It is part financed by the European Union’s ERDF Competitiveness programme 2007-13, securing £0.49m of ERDF investment through the Regional Development Agency One NorthEast. The ERDF programme is bringing over £250m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.
Source: NESA group
- 11:25 am
Title: Family science road-show
Date: Thursday 1st September
Location: Lit & Phil in Newcastle
The Literary & Philosophical Society (Lit & Phil) is the largest independent library outside of London, housing over 150,000 books. A wide selection of current fiction & non-fiction can be found alongside historical collections covering every field of interest, including science. It is located in a outstanding Grade II* listed building in the centre of Newcastle and is currently working to make itself known to the wider population in the city of Newcastle.
To raise their profile and attract a new audience to this beautiful building, they have asked the Community Science Team at Centre West to help them deliver a one-off event providing a unique opportunity for families to be given access to its building and to explore its resources.
They are looking for two or three science-based, hands on activities to enthuse and excite people about science.
If interested please contact Rhianne Dixon at Rhianne.firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief outline of the activity and your costs.
Source: NESA group
August 22, 2011 - 2:37 pm
The Partnership Grants scheme offers grants of up to £3,000 for science projects run at a primary or secondary school or college in partnership with a professional scientist or engineer. In order to apply for this grant teachers must team up with a practising scientist or engineer and STEM Ambassadors are more then welcome to help!!!
Examples of our local North East past projects include:
Comparing and Applying Renewable Energy Sources
by Northumberland Church of England Academy
Sun Worshipper? No Respecter!
by The Thomas Hepburn Community School
Making Bugs “Super”
by Moorside Community Technology College
You can read more about case studies here:
The next round opens on 5 September 2011 and closes on 4 November 2011.
Source: Royal Society website http://royalsociety.org accessed on 22/08/2011
August 5, 2011 - 1:44 pm
The Royal Academy of Engineering offers support to new STEM Clubs. They have £200 grant and free engineering based CPD to the club leader to support them setting up and running their STEM club. On their website they also offer some free resources to download. Check the link:
For more information please contact Engineering Engagement Project (EEnP) Team via email: email@example.com
August 4, 2011 - 1:36 pm
Excellent event for STEM Ambassadors, teachers and other volunteers interested in doing something science or engineering-related during the National Science & Engineering Week in March 2012.
British Science Association will be running a session in Newcastle for all people interested in organising some NSEW 2012 activities. Information Session is a great chance for anyone to find out more about NSEW first hand, get hold of a whole range of resources and exchange ideas with other organisers in the area.
Date: 13th October, 2011
Location: Moorbank Botanical Gardens, Claremont Road, Newcastle, NE2 4NL
To book your place please visit: http://nsew-newcastle.eventbrite.com
August 3, 2011 - 1:46 pm
Some of you might be enjoying a summer brake at the moment. But there are over 30 sixth form students from schools across the North East who are working hard with scientist and science educators to complete their Nuffield projects before the new school year starts.
The students are based at four NE universities (Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Durham) and few other organisations including local museums (Beamish Museum is one of them!) and Durham Wildlife Trust.
The placements take between 4 to 6 weeks and students are paid £80 per week. They are expected to help with projects which contribute toward the work of their host organisation. At the end of their placement students will write project reports and design scientific posters which will be presented at the NE Nuffield celebration event on 29th September 2011 at Newcastle College.
To find our more about some of this years Nuffield Foundation Science Bursary projects click here: http://stem-ncl.org/nuffield/placements2011/placements.php
Picture: Jonathan Winn from Durham Wildlife Trust with Nuffield student at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve Visitor Centre (Chilton Moor, Houghton le Spring, DH4 6PU)
August 1, 2011 - 2:02 pm
The British Science Association have introduced new music technology project ideas on their website. The new Musical Moods activity pack for KS3 and KS4 students is about music technology and was produced for National Science and Engineering Week 2011. Activities in the pack are linked to the CREST Awards scheme at Bronze and Silver level.
NSEW Activities: Musical Moods